25 Microsoft Office Hacks That Triple Your Productivity

One of the coolest software applications on the market today that does almost everything to keep you organized and on task is Microsoft Office. Communication, collaboration, sharing across colleagues, and instant messaging are just some ways to triple your productivity. What’s another great way to be productive and fast? Microsoft Office hacks.

Did you know that Microsoft Office is one of the most widely-used software applications around the globe for business, home, and school? It’s popular, easy to use, accessible, interactive, and adaptable to different operating systems. In fact, there are over 1.2 billion users, with over 60 million businesses who trust it enough to have a monthly subscription.

With cloud-based apps, you can use it anywhere on almost any device. Don’t know how to do something? There are many tutorials within the Microsoft Office community that can get you going. Add consistently new features and updates, and you can save a lot of time if you know how to navigate the system.

Here are 25 hacks you can use to make things a lot easier. We’ve broken them down into general hacks and by the most-used applications:

  • Sharing
    Now you don’t have to open your email client and stress yourself browsing for a file. Share documents with other people with the share button. Located in the top-right-hand corner of the application, documents can be shared via OneDrive, AirDrop, and other services. This also allows the document to be edited and commented on in real time.
  • Personalize your ribbons
    What happens when you don’t feel as if your ribbon is working to your benefit? Add the features you need! Just click Preference, then Ribbon & Toolbar, or go to File, Options, Customize Ribbon. You can also hide the ribbon by clicking the small arrow on the right of the ribbon.
  • Autosave with One Drive
    Enable this to automatically save documents as you are working on them. Multiple versions are recorded to help you go back in time if you need to. Once your document is open, toggle the Autosave button at the top to make sure your document is saved.

Microsoft Office Hacks with Microsoft Word

  • Use the templates

You don’t have to be stuck wondering how to design a document or presentation. There are tons of pre-made templates in the database to help you get what you need quickly.

  • Auto-correct

When you see a word or phrase with a red or blue underline, right-click to see the new suggestion or correction. This helps with grammar and spelling issues that you may have missed when creating the document.

  • Translate your text

It’s easy to translate text to make sure you fully understand in over 60 languages. Right-click the text you need and choose Translate. For the entire document, choose Review, Translate, and Translate Document to select what language you are translating from, and what language you are translating to.

  • Read your document out loud

Hear how your document sounds for more understanding and to improve your skills. Click Review, then Read Aloud. Another shortcut is Alt+Ctrl+Space. You will be able to set the speed of the reading and play or pause as needed.

  • Quickly select a paragraph

Triple-click your mouse to select an entire paragraph while working.

Microsoft Office Hacks with Microsoft Excel

  • Filter with slicers

Quickly filter how you need to with slicers. Select a range in any PivotTable or standard table and select Insert and Slicer to choose your column.

  • Pivot tables with one click

PivotTables are very popular in this application but may not be easy to create. Now you can easily create one with Insert, then Recommend PivotTables to choose the data range and table.

  • Quickly turn any table into a chart

Choose a cell within your data range. Press Alt+F1 and the chart should appear for customization.

  • Fill cells quickly

When you start creating a column to the right of your existing data with information, Excel will automatically start a flash fill, and you can alter based on your needs.

  • Lookup detailed data

VLOOKUP uses the TRUE argument to find information from another table and bring it back to what you’re currently working on. There is a formula you should use: VLOOKUP (A1,B1:C3,2, TRUE). When the value is looking, it doesn’t have to be exact, and should find partial matches for what you want.

Microsoft Office Hacks with Microsoft PowerPoint

  • Record a screen demo

When you need to do a short instructional video or hold a webinar you can put the recording on a slide and save it as a video that can be shared anywhere videos are hosted.

  • Use your phone as a laser pointer

You’ll need the PowerPoint app on your phone then use AirPlay, ChromeCast, MiraCast, or an HDMI adapter. As you’re going through your presentation, you can use the laser on your phone to highlight areas of importance.

  • Match your colors of your font and imagery using Eyedropper.

Choose Format, Shape, or Text Fill and select the Eyedropper. This should adapt your selection to the color of choice.

  • Insert background music

This is great for presentations. Choose Insert, then Audio, then Audio on my PC. You should be able to select a file. Select Audio Tools Playback, then Play in the Background. When your slideshow starts, the music will automatically start playing.

  • Use Designer to design slides

This is an easy way to make sure all your content is consistent and professionally designed.

  • Quickly embed YouTube videos

When you need to add elements from the web to your presentation, just go to the video (YouTube or some other video host). Grab the embed code from the host and embed into your presentation.

  • Use presentation shortcuts

Shift + F5 – start from the current slide

Number + Enter – move to a particular slide

F5 – start from the beginning of the presentation

B – have a black screen showing

W – have a white screen showing

P or left arrow key – the previous slide shows

N or right arrow key – move to the next slide

Esc – end the slide show

Microsoft Teams

Teams is quickly becoming a go-to collaborative tool for teams. These hacks will help keep your team moving efficiently:

  • Work with T-Bot
    T-Bot provides assistance in four different languages: English, Spanish, French, and German. Find it under the Chat user panel at the left and get answers for the most commonly asked questions.
  • Call out a specific team member when having a conversation
    Type @ and then the name of the person or email address within a team conversation to notify the person they have specific mentions within the conversation they can respond to. The message should go to their inbox.
  • Title the conversation
    When you need others to pay attention or you want to add a little structure, title the chat with a subject line. You can add a different style and heading to stand out. Click the compose box button (the A with a pen) and start the message. Send with the paper plane.
  • Use GIFs

Teams like to have fun, and GIFs are a great way to say what you want to say – in a fun way. You can add GIFs to the conversation by clicking GIF at the bottom of the conversation and search for the one you want. Once you have selected click Send.

  • Connect with other apps
    Hootsuite, Twitter, and Zendesk are all available apps that can be used in Teams, along with other productivity apps like Trello and Bing News. They can be connected with Office 365 Connectors. Right-click the channel, select Connectors. Search and Add.

These are some of the best Microsoft Office hacks that can help speed up your productivity and get things done without taking the long route. Saving time can free you and your team up to do more things for your business, organization, or just increase your productivity while you work. You can find Microsoft Office in a variety of places, but the most popular is the cloud-based version of Microsoft Office 365 which is a subscription that gives you all the updates as they come in. It’s also the most versatile and allows you to use the apps across devices without losing any of your work.

It’s time to work smarter and not harder. These Microsoft Office hacks will help put you right where you need to be – getting it done.

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Founder of With over 20 years of experience in HR and various roles in corporate world, Jenny shares tips and advice to help professionals advance in their careers. Her blog is a go-to resource for anyone looking to improve their skills, land their dream job, or make a career change.

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